Editors' pick

Millennium Stage - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

4/24

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Students perform works by Lorenzo, Thomas, Ligeti, Hindemith and Holst. At the Millennium Stage.
4/25

Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia

The group performs works by Gabrieli, Rossini and Mozart. At the Millennium Stage.
4/26

talYtali

At the Millennium Stage.
4/27

Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Students perform as part of the Conservatory Project. At the Millennium Stage.
4/28

New England Conservatory of Music

Students perform as part of the Conservatory Project. At the Millennium Stage.
4/29

Adrian Anantawan & Vincent Chi Kwan Cheung

The violinist and pianist perform. At the Millennium Stage.
4/30
5/27

Estonia in Concert: The Music of Arvo Part

Led by conductor Tonu Kaljuste, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallin Chamber Orchestra perform works by Estonia's most well-known composer, Arvo Part. At the Millennium Stage.
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Editorial Review

If there's another place on Earth where you can see a different live performance 364 nights a year for free, we haven't heard of it. The Kennedy Center wanted to open its doors to new audiences -- and new talent -- and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations with the Millennium Stage, where artists of all backgrounds and talents showcase their creative energy on a specially built platform in the Grand Foyer.

The stage lights up nightly at 6 and offers entertainment for patrons waiting for the opera or "Shear Madness," tourists passing through and folks who traveled to Foggy Bottom especially to take advantage of the hour-long show. On any given month there's a mix of classical music, jazz, storytelling, song and dance. Audience members might even catch Leonard Slatkin conducting a small ensemble from the National Symphony Orchestra, or jazz master Billy Taylor with his trio. Some months feature themes such as "Music in the Movies."

As a perk of office, members of Congress can nominate performers from their state to perform on the stage. You, too, can add the Kennedy Center to your resume: Local auditions are held one weekend a year in the spring. Don't be shy -- classical guitar, a cappella tunes, harmonica, folk songs and fiddles, anything goes.

-- Nicole Lewis